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20121202
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ever been far enough from the earth to see the whole thing. like the crew of apollo 8, who took this picture commonly known as "earth rise" from the window of the craft as they orbited the moon in 1968. unfortunately, nearly half the earth was in shadow. an unmanned soviet spacecraft called zond 7 got this shot during a lunar fly-by. palin 1969. i guess you would call that a gibbous earth. not quite full but close. but 40 years ago today three people were able to get this amazing view of the earth, fully lit by the sun. it is probably a shot you have seen so often you don't think how amazing it really is. it was nicknamed the blue marble and it was taken by one of the astronauts on board, apollo 17. apollo 17 launched 40 years ago today, december 7, 1972. it was a night launch, aiming for the littoral valley. gene cernan, harrison jack schmitt and ron evans aboard. apollo 17 launched at night, and when they landed three days later, the sun was behind them. and so that particular launch trajectory put a fully formed beautifully lit earth in the window of the command module at a t
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